Vietnam’s shrimp exports experienced an energetic first quarter of this year with export revenue of nearly USD 955 million, up 44% over the same period last year, has reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Positive results in the first quarter of this year promise a good year for shrimp exports nationwide.

Although there are still concerns about the new variant of covid-19 and its effects, overall restrictions have been eased. Airlines resume normal operations, travel recovers, travel eases, food service sector recuperates favorably. This is considered one of the supporting factors for the growth momentum of Vietnam’s shrimp exports in the first quarter of this year.

Reports from localities with large shrimp farming areas such as Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, and Kien Giang are optimistic about both the stocking progress and success. In the first 3 months of this year, Soc Trang is the province with the largest shrimp export volume in the country, reaching over 231 million USD, accounting for 24.4% of the total shrimp export value of the country during this period.

Soc Trang, leading the country in shrimp export turnover for two consecutive years

Thanks to the focus on developing effective production models, Soc Trang has been leading the country in shrimp export turnover for two consecutive years, with a value of more than 1 billion USD. The next largest shrimp exporting provinces are Ca Mau (accounting for 24%), Bac Lieu (accounting for 10.8%), Hau Giang (accounting for 8.2%), Ho Chi Minh (accounting for 6.3%).

In the first quarter of this year, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to major markets recorded double-digit growth. The United States (US) continues to be the single largest importer of Vietnam’s shrimp with a proportion of 20.4%. Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US accumulated in the first 3 months of this year reached nearly USD 195 million, up 45% over the same period.

The number of infections in the US currently remains low and the vaccination rate is high, so the people’s lives are used to living with covid-19. According to experts, shrimp imports from the US in 2022 will continue with the last year’s growth.

Recovery is not yet complete with respect to 2019

Shrimp sales in the US foodservice industry skyrocketed in 2021, although they have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The demand for large-sized shrimp (26-30 shrimp/kg) and easy to process tends to increase markedly.

Nearly 137,000 tons of shrimp will be consumed through food service channels in 2021, an increase of 25,000 tons compared to 2020. With the recovery in demand of the HORECA chain and with the strength of processed shrimp, Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US will continue in 2022.

The situation in the European Union and China

In the other hand, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the European Union (EU) in the first quarter of this year reached more than USD 159 million, up 66% over the same period last year. Exports to three main single markets in the bloc, namely the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, increased by 77%, 59% and 82%, respectively.

The demand for shrimp in Europe usually increases in late summer and early autumn, so importers and distributors in this market are preparing orders from this time.

In the case of China, Vietnam’s shrimp exports in the first three months of this year reached over USD 106 million, up 70% over the same period. This is a good signal for shrimp exports to this market after a quiet 2021.

The demand for shrimp imports from this market this year will be more stable when China this year advocates to increase the amount of imported seafood to 66 million tons to reduce demand for pork. However, this country is still pursuing the ‘zero covid’ policy, so it will have more or less impact on Vietnam’s shrimp exports to this market in the near future.

Finally, the members of VASEP said that it is forecasted that shrimp exports in the second quarter of this year will continue to have a high growth momentum. “If the situation is favorable, shrimp export turnover in the whole year of 2022 can achieve a growth rate of 10%”.

Vietnam’s shrimp exports this year will have a steady growth momentum thanks to the demand from still good markets and incentives from Trade Agreements such as CPTPP, EVFTA, UKVFTA, RCEP. However, developments from some markets Like China, with the ‘zero covid’ policy, sea freight has not shown any signs of “cooling down”, instability from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, are still challenges those businesses must face in the next quarter.

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